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UCC - Children's advocates file brief to safeguard children on the airwaves
Worldwide Faith News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tue, 10 Jun 2008 13:21:21 -0700
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Barb Powell
United Church of Christ-OC, Inc.
Phone: (216) 736-2175
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Children's advocates file brief to safeguard children on the airwaves
WASHINGTON, D.C. ? A coalition of children's advocates on June 9 filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the laws and rules that safeguard children on the nation's airwaves.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, Benton Foundation, Children Now, National Institute on Media and the Family, National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), and United Church of Christ Office of Communication, Inc. (OC, Inc.), filed the brief in FCC et al. v. Fox Television Stations, Inc. et al., No. 07-582, a case involving the use of vulgar expletives on the airwaves. The brief was filed in order "to protect the important legal principals at the root of the laws and rules safeguarding children," said Cheryl Leanza, policy director of OC, Inc.
"We take no position on the underlying indecency case; rather, we ask the Supreme Court to be careful not to inadvertently endanger its prior precedents that support the Childrenâ??s Television Act of 1990 and the FCC rules that implement it," said Leanza.
The coalition filed in order to ensure that the Court continues to recognize the constitutional legitimacy of the FCC's statutory public interest oversight of television broadcasters.
In addition, the coalition seeks to educate the Court about the V-chip, explaining the limitations of the technology and its implementation. "The lack of public awareness about the V-chip, as well as the inconsistent adoption of the ratings system by the television industry, have prevented the V-chip from being as effective as we had hoped in enabling parents to make informed choices about their children's television viewing," said Christy Glaubke, director of Children Now.
"Because the power to rate programs rests exclusively with each individual industry member, how each programmer assigns ratings is left entirely to its discretion," cites the brief.
"Television programming that incorporates education and information can be a positive factor in student achievement by engaging children in learning that is also entertaining. That is why we strongly supported the Childrenâ??s Television Act of 1990 (CTA) and the 1996 regulations interpreting the CTA," said Jan Harp Domene, PTA national president. â??It is the responsibility of everyone ? parents, teachers, broadcast and cable media, and producers of children's television shows ? to support, monitor, and improve the quality of programs and productions."
On behalf of the coalition, the brief was prepared by Spiegel & McDiarmid LLP and by the Institute for Public Representation of Georgetown University Law Center.
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